Class AA Girls Finals: #2 Wesleyan vs. #1 Holy Innocents’

Photo by Ty Freeman

Friday, March 6

Tipoff: 3:00 PM

(At Macon Centreplex)







Region 6, 24-7


The storied Wolves are back in the finals for an unprecedented 12 consecutive times, but this year’s journey ranks as one of the program’s most impressive runs to the finals yet. Sophomore Noni Thompkins is a key piece to the Wolves success but was sidelined for the first part of the season as she recovered from an ACL surgery last season. Freshman Amaya Register was hit with an MCL sprain the second game of the season and Mikayla Coombs went down for the entire season after tearing her ACL in the season opener. Coombs is one of the top sophomore’s in the nation and at 5-foot-11 was set to be one of the engines that drove this year’s team. As the season progressed, Wesleyan has continued to get better and its three narrow losses to Holy Innocents’ show that the Wolves are yet to peak. Their first meeting with the Golden Bears resulted in a 59-49 defeat on Jan. 10, but on Feb. 3, Wesleyan made it much more competitive and fell by six points (52-46). In their last meeting on Feb. 13 in the Region Championship game, Holy Innocents’ escaped with a 43-41 victory. In the postseason, Wesleyan has hit a new gear, crushing its first four opponents by an average 28.75 points per game and showcasing the defense that has made them Georgia’s most consistent powerhouse since the turn of the century. In the Wolves’ 60-39 win over Lovett in the semis, Wesleyan led 35-13 at halftime after holding the Lions to just three made field goals and forcing 12 turnovers. Offensively, balance and quick ball movement is the formula for success and these ingredients were shown as Cairo Booker netted 15 points and teammates Jameson Kavel (12), Nikki McDonald (10) Natalie Armstrong (9) and Lauren Frerking (8) all shared the load against Lovett.


Holy Innocents’

Region 6, 31-0


The Golden Bears have reached the finals with an undefeated record for the second straight season, but after falling in a 57-52 heartbreaker to Southwest Atlanta Christian in last year’s Class A-Private finals, Holy Innocents’ must beat Wesleyan for the fourth time this season to take home the Class AA trophy. Holy Innocents’ last state title came back in 1999 but the Golden Bears’ have arguably been the most dominant team regardless of  classification the last two seasons. Holy Innocents’ has not lost a region game since the 2011-12 season and this year’s ‘March to Macon’ includes the trio of wins over Wesleyan, a 63-58 revenge victory over Southwest Atlanta Christian and a 58-53 win over Class AAAAAA defending state champion and 2015 finalist McEachern. The Golden Bears’ opened the first round with a 55-point blowout over Bremen (79-25) and followed it with a 48-point win over Bleckley County (68-20) in the second round. The next two rounds were played away from home and Holy Innocents’ survived the task with an 80-65 win at Vidalia followed by a 78-70 victory over red-hot Pelham at Columbus State in the semifinals. Holy Innocents’ led the Hornets 36-35 at the half after an Erika Cassell buzzer-beater and the 6-foot-2 junior kept the momentum in Holy Innocents’ favor as the Golden Bears outscored Pelham 25-17 in the third quarter. All five starters finished in double-figures with Cassell turning in 19 points. Khayla Pointer netted a game-high 24 points and Sydney Long finished with 11 while Shai Blanding and Kaila Hubbard finished with 10 apiece. Holy Innocents’ 31 wins this season are a school record that topped the 30-4 finish that resulted in the school’s 1988-99 state title.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply